MISHAWAKA, Ind., Aug. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In a historic event today, AM General, operating as Mercedes-Benz's first and only contract manufacturer in the United States, rolled its first Mercedes-Benz R-Class off the line at its state-of-the-art commercial vehicle assembly plant in Mishawaka, Ind. AM General and Mercedes-Benz executives were joined by Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Senator Joe Donnelly, Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, as well as other community leaders, to mark the achievement.
Earlier this year, AM General and Mercedes-Benz struck a multi-year agreement to move production of the R-Class luxury vehicle, currently only sold in China, from Mercedes-Benz's Tuscaloosa, Ala. plant to AM General's world-class 675,000 square-foot Commercial Assembly Plant. Over time, the move is expected to create more than 200 jobs at AM General.
The "R-Class Rollout Ceremony" included a walking tour of AM General's Commercial Assembly Plant, a "ceremonial" rollout of the first production R-Class vehicle off the assembly line, and a variety of prepared remarks from the attending dignitaries.
AM General's Commercial Assembly Plant is a full service manufacturing and support facility that utilizes state-of-the-art robotic welding, painting and assembly techniques coupled with a lean manufacturing culture and highly skilled workforce to meet the requirements of its customers.
In this rapidly growing segment of its business, AM General has extensive experience as an automotive Contract Assembler and Original Equipment Manufacturer. Commercial vehicle contract assembly initiatives include work for General Motors and other Original Equipment Manufacturers. As an Original Equipment Manufacturer, AM General, through its wholly owned subsidiary Mobility Ventures LLC, designs, produces and supports the new MV-1 - the world's first purpose-built, universally accessible vehicle which is expanding choice in transportation for families, livery and paratransit fleets.
"The luxury R-Class is a testament to the demand for quality, innovation and performance that we share with our partners at Mercedes-Benz and we thank them for their commitment to our facility and operation here in Indiana. AM General is the global leader in advanced vehicle production and we stand ready to meet the needs of auto companies here in the U.S. and around the world," said Howard Glaser, President, AM General Commercial. "We look forward to continuing to deliver world-class vehicles for Mercedes-Benz and other customers as this segment of our business continues to grow."
"We take the needs of our Chinese customers seriously and, therefore, continue to produce the R-Class, which is very popular in China. We have found the ideal partner for this project with AM General. As a production specialist, AM General reliably fulfils the high requirements in terms of processes and especially quality, which globally apply to the production of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars," Jason Hoff, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International said.
"Companies like Mercedes-Benz and AM General have realized the potential of the pro-growth, low-regulation environment that Indiana provides," said Indiana Governor Mike Pence. "Indiana leads the Midwest in fields like manufacturing and innovation, and I'm thankful to join AM General as Mercedes-Benz takes this next step to begin production of their vehicle right here in the Hoosier State. With the help of our outstanding Hoosier workforce, I am certain that Mercedes-Benz will continue to see long-term success here in Indiana, a state that works."
"The first Mercedes-Benz R-Class rolling off the line at AM General's Mishawaka commercial plant today represents the hard work and innovation happening right here in St. Joe County," said U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly. "As a result of this partnership, hundreds of workers are at work at this facility, contributing to Indiana's economy. Manufacturing is critical to our state's economy, and we have some of the best talent in the world in Indiana. I thank AM General, UAW Local 5, and Mercedes-Benz for their commitment to Mishawaka and to Hoosier workers."
"I want to congratulate both AM General and Mercedes-Benz on the rollout of the R-Class at this extraordinary assembly plant," said U.S. Representative, Jackie Walorski, 2nd District Indiana. "As I hear the sounds from the vehicle production line, I know that means innovation and good paying jobs for Hoosiers. This partnership is not only important to our community, but also to AM General's expanding global presence. Now, skilled workers from Michiana will help produce and deliver exceptional vehicles for use around the world."
About AM General
AM General designs, engineers, manufactures, supplies and supports specialized vehicles for military and commercial customers worldwide. AM General has more than five decades of experience meeting the changing needs of the defense and automotive industries, supported by its employees at major facilities in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio, and a strong supplier base that stretches across 43 states. Please see more information about AM General at www.amgeneral.com
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SOURCE AM General